BY GERRY MILES
Think of it as a $5,000 VAT Rebate. From Chevy. And General Motors.
Because, they say, so many owners are so satisfied with the Chevy Volt, GM is cutting the price $5,000 to $34,995 (which includes the $810 destination fee) for the 2014 model year.
If you now figure in the federal tax credits, which range up to $7,500 reflective of your income tax range, the Volt could cost as little as $27,495.
Chevy, naturally, says the downturn in price results from the aggregated knowledge base from producing the Volt, making things better, faster, cheaper and the like. Others say it’s due to slow sales and the value-added pitch is just that…an advertising ploy.
“We have made great strides in reducing costs as we gain experience with electric vehicles and their components,” Don Johnson, U.S. vice president, Chevrolet sales and service. “In fact, the Volt has seen an increase in battery range and the addition of creature comforts, such as a leather-wrapped steering wheel and MyLink, since its launch in 2010.”
Chevy’s Volt lags in sales with the Nissan Leaf, which dropped its price earlier in the year and outpaces the GM product, as Nicole Wakelin wrote earlier this year.
Volt owners who charge their car regularly typically drive 900 miles between fill-ups and visit the gas station about once a month. The 2014 Volt will continue to provide owners with impressive fuel economy of 98 MPGe (electric) and 35 city/40 highway on gasoline power without any need to change their daily driving habits while saving $900 in annual fuel costs. Chevy claims Volt owners have logged 364 million miles, including 225 million electric miles in their famed plug-in.
Chevy proudly crows over 70 percent of its buyers are conquest buyers – or new to GM – and they add, not surprisingly – Chevy’s PR words not mine – the Prius is the most commonly traded vehicle for a Volt. That is surprising because the Volt is much smaller in person than it appears in pictures, has less backseat and hatch space than a Prius. Perhaps folks don’t care about versatility and opt for only the mpgs. Who knew?
The Gold Coast is not surprisingly (my words) Volt’s largest market. Volt’s low emissions earn it a “sticker” for single-occupancy HOV lane access in California and New York.
The Chevrolet Volt allows gas-free driving for an EPA-estimated 38 miles, depending on terrain, driving techniques and temperature. The range-extending engine gives the Volt up to 380 total miles of total driving range.
Oh yeah: here’s the value part that’s hidden at the bottom of the PR sheet: Volt will come in 2 new colors: Ashen Gray Metallic and Brownstowne Metallic. And don’t overlook the leather-wrapped steering wheel.